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Evaluation of the Reliability and Effectiveness of an Animal Detection System

Started: September, 2010 Ended: June, 2012 Project ID #4W3380 Status: Completed


The objective of this project was to evaluate the  effectiveness of an animal detection system project.


The number of vehicle/animal crashes has been climbing steadily in recent years. This issue is addressed in this research. There have been a few new technologies, all with their own strengths and shortcomings that claim to accurately detect the large animals that cross our roadways. No single technology is suited for every site, and close attention must be given to any selected site based on its weather, vegetation, topography, and local animal types and sizes. In the first phase of this project, the research team selected a test site in Northern California along State Route 3 near the city of Fort Jones, and installed an animal detection system that deploys microwave break-a-beam technology to detect objects crossing the roadside, including the local deer. Researchers also designed and developed a data monitoring and recording system that records and archives the response of the driver to the designed animal warning system. In phase two, researchers collected 10 months of baseline and actual data to analyze the effectiveness of the PATH Animal Warning System (PAWS). In addition, they analyzed test results for reliability of the selected animal detection system at a controlled access facility (in Lewiston, Montana) and at a California test-bed (SR3). Researchers also conducted an online survey to learn about drivers’ experiences with the system as well their opinions of the system.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (Path) Sponsor

Related Information

Part of: Road Ecology

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